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TX divorce lawyerIf you are planning to end your marriage, you will need to address a wide variety of legal issues. In a contested divorce, disputes with your spouse can become highly contentious, and if you have children together, you will likely disagree about how you will share in parenting duties and divide the time that your children spend in each of your homes. If you are struggling to reach agreements about complex child custody issues, the judge in your case may decide that a child custody evaluation is needed. Depending on the circumstances of your case, either a guardian ad litem or another type of child custody evaluator may be appointed.

What Is a Guardian ad Litem?

The court may appoint a person who will represent the best interests of the child in a divorce or child custody case. In many cases, a guardian ad litem will be an attorney, but they may also be another person who has the training and experience necessary to determine what is in a child’s best interests.

The guardian ad litem, or GAL, will conduct an investigation and gather information about the case. They may conduct interviews with a child who is at least four years old, the parents, and anyone else who has knowledge about the child’s history and circumstances, such as teachers or childcare providers. They will also be able to obtain records related to the child’s education, medical care, or psychological treatment.


Texas custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyIn 1985, psychiatrist Richard Gardner coined the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) to describe a set of behaviors exhibited by children whose parents deliberately attempt to turn them against the other parent through a variety of coercive or manipulative techniques. Unfortunately, PAS occurs at an alarming rate, especially during emotional and stressful divorces or disputes over child custody; as such, if you or a loved one has children and is considering a divorce, it is important to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can ensure that the interests of your children are protected.

Parental Alienation Defined

Parental alienation involves the manipulation of a child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, essentially forcing the child to choose sides. This can lead the child to emotionally reject the targeted parent, which can have lifelong repercussions for both parties. Many parents may even be unaware that they are contributing to parental alienation, which could include any of the following activities:


Posted on in Child Custody

Texas family law attorney, Texas child custody attorneyIn Texas, family courts have specific rules regarding custody decisions when the children involved are under the age of three years old. Keeping track of the numerous court rules and procedures can be difficult, so if you or a loved one are considering a divorce and have a young child, it is critical to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help protect the interests of both you and your child.

Necessary Factors

When determining which parent will have primary physical custody of a child under the age of three years old, courts are required to consider specific factors, including:


Texas custody laws, Teas complex custody attorneyMaking custody arrangements is one of the most legally complex and emotionally draining aspects of any divorce. These situations can become even more stressful when one or both of a child’s parents are members of the military. Although Texas family law specifically addresses these issues, navigating the court system and fulfilling procedural requirements can still be difficult, so if you are considering a divorce and either you or a spouse are a member of the military, it is critical to contact an experienced complex child custody attorney who can help explain your legal options.

Deployment of a Custodial Parent

Many custodial parents are also members of the armed forces and so are subject to deployment. In these situations, Texas law permits custodial parents to designate another person to take temporary custody of the child. After assessing the child’s best interests a court will grant custody to one of the following individuals:


Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas same-sex marriage laws, Texas high-asset divorce lawyer, In July 2015, a Bexar County district judge gave the green light for a same-sex divorce to proceed through the system. The case has enormous implications for high asset divorce cases in Travis County and elsewhere in Central Texas.

The women legally married in Washington in 2010, and subsequently settled in the San Antonio area. One partner was artificially inseminated in February 2013, and the couple separated later that year. The child's non-biological mother had not been allowed visitation, until Judge Renée Yanta entered temporary orders in the divorce case. The woman's attorney applauded Judge Yanta for "follow[ing] the law," adding that "in San Antonio and Bexar County we take the lead on these issues."

In June 2015, just a few days before the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was announced, the Texas Supreme Court allowed a Travis County same-sex divorce to stand, although that ruling came on a technicality.


Texas complex child custody attorney, Texas high-asset divorce attorneyAll parents share a common goal: the best interests of the children. That being said, parents often have very different opinions of what is "best." Moreover, they often sharply disagree as to the methods used to achieve that common goal.

In terms of their approach, many lawyers are far too aggressive in child custody disputes. A court hearing is unlike some other forums, where the people with the loudest voices typically get their way. In fact, this approach often backfires. Many judges rightly believe that parents who recklessly attack the other side lack the co-parenting skills needed for a successful post-divorce parent-child relationship.

Controlled aggression, along with thorough preparation, often achieves the best results in complex custody actions. What evidence can support a party's arguments in court?

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